At a Glance

• Achieved a 70% reduction in workloads for the bank’s internal development teams

Able to schedule one upgrade at least per year with a 50% shorter execution time.

Create development environments within a day instead of 5 days

• Will consolidate 4 separate core banking instances to a single platform

Completed initial upgrade of Temenos core banking in 6 months

Powerful combination of Temenos core banking and the Red Hat OpenShift environment

Founded in 1838, Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) is the oldest and largest banking institution in Mauritius. MCB provides a range of personal, corporate and institutional banking services through a local network of 40 branches. The bank also maintains a strong regional presence, operating through subsidiaries and associated companies in Madagascar, Maldives, Mozambique, Seychelles, Dubai, South Africa, Kenya and France.

Although MCB has a long history, it has always focused on looking forward. The bank has built a reputation for innovation, being the first financial institution to introduce ATMs to Mauritius in the 1980s. More recently, it was the first to launch a mobile banking app: MCB Juice, which allows users to check their accounts, transfer funds, manage cards, and pay bills, all while on the move.

Reza Chady, Lead Enterprise Architect at MCB, confirms: “Innovation plays a very important role in our culture, and we pride ourselves on being able to adapt to a demanding operating environment. Today, customer preferences and regulatory requirements are evolving rapidly. To stay ahead of the change, we need banking systems that are flexible and adaptable, while also providing a secure environment for delivering our services.”

Getting fit for the future

As part of this continuous push to innovate, MCB recently set out on a journey to update and transform its core banking infrastructure. The bank has been using Temenos core banking since 2007 and, after years of expansion, it felt that the time was right for an upgrade. Key objectives for MCB were rationalizing what had become a complex systems landscape, and achieving greater economies of scale and speed across multiple subsidiaries and banking functions.

“Our core banking landscape has not grown in a very uniform way,” explains Reza Chady. “Previously, we maintained 4 different versions of Temenos core banking, with individual environments for each operating entity. This approach was overly complex, and made it difficult to scale the business and execute new strategies in a unified way—not to mention adding considerable cost and management overheads.”

Core banking, upgraded

To rationalize and streamline its core banking environment, MCB decided to consolidate all of its separate entities on one centralized Temenos core banking instance, running in its private cloud. This cloud-powered platform will form the heart of a new digital backbone at MCB, transforming current business and operational processes to gain greater efficiency, agility and innovation.

For its new private cloud environment, MCB opted for a container-based architecture. The bank’s development team already had a positive experience using the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for creating containerized applications for its digital channels. So naturally, the team was keen to build on the platform again when it came to the core banking renovation.

Assembling an expert team

The core banking upgrade and private cloud migration represent one of the most ambitious projects that the bank has undertaken to date. To minimize risk and ensure that the project progressed as smoothly as possible, MCB enlisted the support and guidance of Temenos Expert Services and MCB Consulting, the financial group’s own consulting arm and an accredited Temenos partner with experience working with banks across Africa.

“Steering a project of this size and complexity requires careful coordination between all partners, as well as a great deal of trust, we were very pleased with the strong working relationship that we  established between ourselves, MCB Consulting and Temenos. The collaboration between all three companies has been extremely fruitful and this reflects in the quality of the deliverables.” 

Reza Chady, Lead Enterprise Architect at MCB

Adopting a low-risk, step-by-step upgrade strategy

Together, MCB, MCB Consulting, and Temenos identified that a phased approach was the smartest way forward for the upgrade project—reducing complexity and risk. As the first stage in the implementation, MCB migrated the core banking environment of one of its entities in the Maldives onto the latest version of Temenos core banking.

Reza Chady continues: “The initial upgrade took around six months to complete and went very smoothly. Since then, the latest version of Temenos core banking has been working perfectly, as is the Red Hat OpenShift environment. The combination of Temenos and Red Hat has proved really powerful, and we are very pleased with the stability and performance we have achieved since the upgrade.”

MCB is now working to repeat this initial success, gradually bringing all entities onto a single instance of Temenos core banking. In parallel, the bank is rolling out the Temenos API framework, which will allow it to connect its core banking platform to different third-party services. MCB also has plans to deploy Temenos Payments Hub and the Temenos Data Hub to enable near-real-time data processing and payments capabilities.

Increasing agility and cutting costs

Although still early days in the transformation journey, MCB is already getting compelling results from its core banking upgrade. With Temenos core banking running in its private cloud environment, MCB has opened up a whole new world of agility and scalability, which has already accelerated time-to-market for new client services with a streamlined development pipeline. MCB will now be able to schedule one upgrade at least per year with a 50% shorter execution time.

“Today, we’re deploying new services faster, with fewer issues during release management and more controlled access to production. Before, it took around five days and the efforts of multiple teams to create new development environments; now, we create them within a day. We estimate that this has resulted in a 70% reduction in workloads—and we expect to build on these efficiencies as we automate more workflows.”

Reza Chady, Lead Enterprise Architect at MCB

The bank is also unlocking major cost savings by consolidating on a single core banking instance and database, as Reza Chady explains: “By migrating to Temenos core banking in our private cloud, we expect to reduce our hardware estate by at least 70%. Likewise, by consolidating from 4 individual instances to a single core banking platform and database, we expect to realize significant savings on licensing costs, as well as administrative and maintenance resources.”

Reaching new horizons

The benefits and value of the core renovation will only increase as MCB works to bring more of its entities onto the latest version of Temenos core banking. Building on the well-established partnership with Temenos, the bank is looking forward to a brighter future.

“We have been working with Temenos for 15 years now. In that time, it has been amazing to see how far their technology has come. Temenos core banking has evolved into a truly modern, sophisticated platform with a robust architecture and rich capabilities. We are very excited to have Temenos as the backbone supporting our ongoing digital transformation.”

Reza Chady, Lead Enterprise Architect at MCB

We partnered successfully with

MCB Consulting

MCB Consulting Services Ltd (MCB Consulting) has been fully incorporated in June 2014 as a wholly owned subsidiary of MCB Group Ltd, the largest financial services provider in Mauritius and increasingly in the region.